Shireshead 143-7 Bare 117 

by Mike Park

Shireshead seconds completed the double for the season over Bare firsts on Saturday with an emphatic 26 run victory at Powderhouse Lane.

Colin Twiname completed his remarkable run of winning the toss (9/10) and elected to bat although he was bowled for just six by Albon after a painful blow to his wrist the previous bowl.

From then on, youth held sway, as Jake Gould and Steven Foy put on nearly 50 before Gould fell for 31 caught and bowled by White. Adam Murphy and Foy continued to play fluently on a less than benevolent surface, Foy stroking six fours in a breezy 34.

It was Murphy who cemented the rest of the innings together as the remaining batsmen struggled to make headway especially in the face of some accurate bowling from Cook (4-31). Coulton was given lbw and, vexed by the apparent injustice of the decision, gestured to this effect to the umpire, only to eat humble pie at the tea interval, make his apologies and appease the officials.

For pure comedic value Park, not known these days for his athleticism, reached to make his ground for a run only to trip and roly poly over the line…pure slapstick. Murphy ended up unbeaten on 41 and a total of 143 looked competitive on a crotchety Bare wicket.

The tea at Bare was a special event with a full array of sandwich fillings from coronation chicken to savoury cheese. The Battenburg was also worth a special mention – this most underrated of fondants proving a popular choice for the visitors.

Debutant pace bowler Josh Smethurst bowled an unbroken spell of 12 overs 2 for 15 in a threatening opening spell. Smethhurst extracted inordinate bounce and beat the bat on countless occasions but John Sharman showed his experience and class hitting 22 in an opening partnership of 44 in 12 overs for the first wicket.

The introduction of Taylor (8-4-13-2) at first change, curtailed the scoring and he had Sharman caught by Rafferty, and White snaffled at second slip by Park. Osmotherly and Neville came together and began to rebuild the innings playing circumspectly up until the drinks break but accelerating their running between their wickets and strokeplay after that. Rafferty (4-47) trapped Neville sweeping for 24 and the same bowler claimed Osmotherly for 32 caught superbly by Park at mid wicket as he leaped a full three inches to pluck the bowl from the air.

There then followed a procession of wickets as Park (7-2-13-1) bowled Jones and Albon was stumped smartly by the impressive keeper Murphy. Last man Jay was run out with Bare whimpering to 117 in 39 overs.